The Best Business Sites in Town

A Subdivision Auction Poster from Germanton

In 1902, the real estate agency Holmes, Wickham, and Co. received instruction to sell by auction a subdivision belonging to J. E. Spurr in Germanton (now known as Holbrook).

On the 14th of March, the day prior to the sale, The Albury Banner and Wodonga Express reported that Germanton was quickly developing, and that this was a ‘first-class chance to secure good sites at moderate prices and liberal terms.’

Subdivision plans such as this (also commonly known as estate maps) were produced primarily between the 1860s and 1930s. The plans were created by real estate agents as a means of promoting the features of new estates or subdivisions.

While many were printed in black and white, just like this Germanton poster, there were also plenty produced in colour. And interestingly, this one is printed onto calico. Displayed in public spaces, they were printed large and often enticed potential buyers with bold illustrations of native flora and fauna or the general landscape of the area.

As neatly marked out in this poster, the subdivision was a fantastic location for current or new business owners looking to boost their visibility. After all, it was positioned near the main street and facing the railway.

However, at the time of this land sale, Germanton did not yet have its own railway line as it was still under construction. The promised line was not completed until several months later, nearly 10 years after locals began campaigning for its construction.